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  • Writer's pictureOnyemaechi Nweke

The equity lens in product decision-making?

In recent years, talk about equity in the business community has centered on issues such as wages, environmental justice, worker rights, work conditions, and representation of underrepresented groups. The conversations have not always resulted in the explicit use of the equity lens or actions to prevent or reduce inequities.

However, it seems the tide is changing. The ongoing massive public rally against the racially motivated killings of African Americans in the hands of law enforcement officials is pushing corporate America to unveil just how the equity lens can inform business decisions about a product. IBM and Amazon have made significant decisions about their facial recognition products without taking the traditional route of drawnout debates and a quest for incontrovertible proof of harm or inequities in how harm is distributed across social groups.

The actions of IBM and Amazon demonstrate what we've always upheld in the conscious capitalism arena, which is that businesses have the power to improve society doing what they do best. If a critical mass of businesses used their reach and leverage to tackle social problems we’d be farther along the progress path as a society. It is encouraging to read about the actions of IBM and Amazon to prevent racism. I say it is decision making worthy of note. Much pressure on peer businesses. Who’s next? Seems to me the equity lens is making a big splash in the c-suite.


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